Philadelphia by-way-of Scranton punk four-piece The Menzingers started off their east cost summer tour the best way possible; with a sold out show at the First Unitarian Church. The show proved this tour is not one to miss – The Menzingers commanded crowd, getting everyone in the packed audience singing along.
The band was accompanied by four other bands. The first to hit the stage was Scranton’s Captain, We’re Sinking. Their catchy brand of punk music was a great way to start the show. Next up was Philadelphia favorites Restorations who had a few tricks in store for the show: they brought on a second drummer to preform with them. Their performance was definitely something to be seen. Fake Problems, the only non Pennsylvania natives on the tour, were the last to hit the stage before The Menzingers, who put on an excellent set (and even opened up the first mosh pit of the evening).
The Menzingers east coast tour will continue till June 12 and shortly after that they will embark on a European headlining tour for the remainder of the summer. Below, watch some videos of the show.
FRIDAY, MAY 13 The Loom simply plays folk music—or, at its most complex, chamber-folk music. The six-piece Brooklyn-based act has horns, ukulele, piano, and some (primarily undistorted) guitars; they don’t add reverb or loops or lo-fi or beats. But the distinctly folk sound is only one way in which The Loom serves as a reminder of the past. Sure, the band’s increasing popularity has pushed it into the blog realm—but, for an indie band, a surprising amount of its acclaim comes from old media. The New York Times called it “the next big thing” in folk music, The New Yorker used the word “beloved,” and The Loom’s music has been used on Good Morning America. In interviews, the band members talk about the meanings behind their songs, and about the joy music brings them. They possess a sincerity that is rare in the ironic, apathetic, or deliberately ambiguous demeanor of today’s musicians. The Loom performs with Christopher Paul Stelling, Psalmships, Annachristie of Sisters3, Former Belle at 9 p.m. at Danger Danger Gallery; tickets to the all-ages show are $5-$10. —Dave Simpson
Also playing: Adele + The Civil Wars at Electric Factory (8:30 p.m., SOLD OUT); Mason Jennings + Birdie Busch at World Cafe Live (8 p.m., $25-$42); Dutch at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (5 p.m., all ages, $8); Simone Felice at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $15); The Armchairs (last show) + Dinosaur Feathers, The Circadian Rhythms, Orbit to Leslie at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10); WXPN Welcomes Danielia Cotton + Peter Bradley Adams at Tin Angel (7:30 p.m., 21+, $15); Hezekiah Leaves & The Spinning Joneses + The Extraordinaires, Nic Esposito, Joshua Park at Bookspace (8 p.m., all ages, $12); Reverend Horton Heat + The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band at Theatre Of Living Arts (9 p.m., $31.25)
SATURDAY, MAY 14 Fake Problems is about keeping the drama to a minimum, and getting the work done. The Naples, Fla. natives know what hard work feels like, having been consistently touring since 2006, and enduring a long growth process from a one-man DIY beginning to a thriving four piece outfit. Since Fake Problems’ rough beginnings, its sound has developed organically—never making a drastic shift or sharply redefining itself, but rather drifting from alt-country pop rock (with a touch of banjo) to an indie sound that reflects its sleepy, beach-front home town. Front man Chris Farren says their newest album, Real Ghosts Caught On Tape, has touches that show how the band’s constant state of development has diversified its influences in the past few years. You can hear some Look Mexico, Phil Spector, M. Ward, Prince, and even some Kanye-inspired lyrics, all held together by a jangly, beach vibe. Although the band is founded on a “no problem” mentality (hence the name), Real Ghost’s second track “5678” openly tackles the self-indulgent dilemma of, as Farren describes, a Kanye-esque dichotomy of “I hate myself” and “I’m awesome” mentalities. Fake Problems performs with Pomegranates, Laura Stevenson and Into It Over It at 3 p.m. at North Star Bar; tickets to the all-ages show are $20. —Danielle Wayda
Perhaps, Saturday night at Kung Fu Necktie, the members of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will take off their NASCAR jumpsuits, remove all of their faux-patriotic stage clutter (red, white, and blue streamers, a light-up American flag), shave their mustaches, and change their band name to something meaningful. Until then, audiences will have to skip past the overbearing irony and focus on the duo’s mature, meaningful music. For a band that shies from seriousness, its music hits hard: both band members play lightly-fuzzed electric guitars, deriving rhythm from drum beats and solid bassy guitar riffs. Some songs are soulful falsettos, others are synthy and electronic; the lyrics, meanwhile, are creative and thoughtful, with only the occasional gimmick. They sing well-crafted melodies, playing off the other’s harmonies, like an electronic Simon And Garfunkel…in NASCAR jumpsuits. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. performs with Generationals at 7 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are $10. —Dave Simpson
Also playing: XPN Welcomes Southern Culture On The Skids at Sellersville Theater (6 & 9:30 p.m., $25); XPN Welcomes Warren Haynes at Tower Theatre (8 p.m., $63); Buried Beds + Ape School, In One Wind at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $10)
SUNDAY, MAY 15
Party Photographers + Dikes Of Holland, Dangerbird at Danger Danger Gallery (9 p.m., all ages, $5-$10); Blue October + The Soldier Thread (8 p.m., SOLD OUT)
Bloomington, Indiana’s Murder By Death has everything fans of electric-cello-infused gothic-western rock (and concept albums about the Devil) could ask for: namely, electric-cello-infused gothic-western rock (and concept albums about the Devil). The band continues to tour in support of last year’s Good Morning, Magpie, the band’s fifth full-length album (and second for Vagrant Records); this time around, they were kind enough to bring along Philly’s own Buried Beds (who we’ve mentioned here) as an opening act. Murder By Death performs with Fake Problems and Buried Beds at 8 p.m. at Johnny Brenda’s; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT.